There is one thing that keeps me wondering and wondering.
Why is it that some people are able to lead a very sinful life, doing bad things to others, lying, deceiving without any conscience, without ever feeling bad or guilty, always feeling righteous. They want to exert power. They don’t know the word “apologize” or “repent”. They don’t care what others think about them (they believe that it is better people speak badly about them than nobody speaks about them). They don’t mind if they hurt others or destroy their lives. (I'm not only talking about non-Christians here, but also people who are regarded or regard themselves as Christian leaders).
And on the other hand there are people who are so sensitive. If you say one bad word to them, they can be hurt for years. If you blame them, they can feel guilty though they did nothing wrong. They are constantly apologizing and repenting when it is not needed at all. Such people do not only. (Such people also exist among non-Christians.)
These extreme differences can be particularly seen between cult leaders and cult members, allowing for a perfect symbiosis.
My question is: Is there a psychological explanation for such differences between people? Is it the difference between people with delusions of grandeur and those with inferiority complexes? Are people born like that? Or do they develop these characters in extreme situations like cults? Or is it the other way around, does a cult develop because of these characters? Or is it a vitious circle where these characters create an environment that amplifies these characters?
Here is a passage from ”Dealing With Manipulative People”
describing this phenomenon so well:
“Guilt-tripping – One thing that aggressive personalities know well is that other types of persons have very different consciences than they do. Manipulators are often skilled at using what they know to be the greater conscientiousness of their victims as a means of keeping them in a self-doubting, anxious, and submissive position. The more conscientious the potential victim, the more effective guilt is as a weapon. Aggressive personalities of all types use guilt-tripping so frequently and effectively as a manipulative tactic, that I believe it illustrates how fundamentally different in character they are compared to other (especially neurotic) personalities. All a manipulator has to do is suggest to the conscientious person that they don't care enough, are too selfish, etc., and that person immediately starts to feel bad. On the contrary, a conscientious person might try until they're blue in the face to get a manipulator (or any other aggressive personality) to feel badly about a hurtful behavior, acknowledge responsibility, or admit wrongdoing, to absolutely no avail.”
For instance, people like Mr. Samuel Lee could never be guilt tripped, simply because they never feel any guilt. For instance, when the Presbyterian Church told him that he did bad things, his reaction was to found his own church. When the people in his own church told him he did bad things, he called them “rebels” and so on.
However, the passage does not explain why people have these fundamentally different chararacters.
And, this phenomenon can be seen in even more extreme forms in the behavior of dictators. The more oppressive and evil the dictator, the more obedient, humble and loyal are the people.
Just take Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic as an example, two of the most evil men of the last century, how they behave in court. No shame, only brazen self-righteousness. How can people be like that? It’s really like where other people have a heart and a conscience, they have nothing.